The ancient Soviet pipes,
Left the water tasting
Strongly of Iron
from the kitchen sink.
The old TV tower, like a monolith
Alien in the sky over
The Jewish quarter,
And the medieval city.
The cluttered old cemetery.
Night bus like a chariot.
They’ll sell you water
For a few Crowns, but coffee is free.
My home is somewhere far off,
An old house near but not on
The coast. Where it is quiet most days,
And nothing spits waves high above the trees.
There is no hunger wall, no old fortification,
Climbing the hill.
When the shock wore off,
My boot socks had worn through
Leaving blisters on my feet.
I can still taste moldy cheese,
The day after I left.
Like broadcasts set high into the stratosphere,
Linger in the air
Of decades and centuries prior.
Or at least, so says my guidebook
Of the Charles Bridge.
When you realize, the new sense-
By the neon light-
Of the sex shop sign,
and the Soviet era tram system
grinds along steel lines.
Strange shock for the foreign frontier,
Where I came to purge the untrue self, or just as well
Close your eyes, and think of England.
Isn’t that what was said before they were shot
With soviet made ammunition?
The back of the skull.
Former BLOC. Midnight bus
Through the lives of others.
8:15 exactly. Start the bus. Start again
My name, like courage, held in the drifting lights
that faded away from the kitchen as we woke up.
Backseat, waiting for your train.
Strong aversions to how things had gone sour
held out like pockets on the eastern front.
I’d been here before, retracing felled ground, examining foothills and farmhouse nests, reclaiming my own life.
The one that had proven its foundation and faith.
A vaulted ceiling gathers soot like a well loved collection
of coffee mugs in the cupboard
and socks in the drawer.
Where the floor rattles a little with the switching on of the air conditioning, and where shadows and cracked pavement climb steep up Ironwood,
Is where summer peace grew like sea grass
holding in the shoreline, like you held me
On foggy nights,
Soft by the seaside,
For years of green.
Waves like the wild
You motioned to show me,
the courage in the calm of your mists.